Did you know that around 81% of women do not do the recommended levels of regular physical activity to maintain health.

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About us

Meet...Sarah Pickford

Sarah PickfordQ: Tell us about your role at WSFF...

A: I am the Regional Equity Officer (Women & Girls Sport and Physical Activity) for the North West and am based at GreaterSport in Manchester. Like the other Regional Officers my main role is to work with key partners through the delivery system to address gender equality issues, developing sustainable networks throughout the sector. I also provide advice and support on projects targeting women & girls and the development of strategy to ensure women & girls are considered throughout.

Q: What has your career involved so far?

A: I trained as a teacher in York returning to my old school for my first teaching post before becoming one of the first School Sport Co-ordinators (SSCo) at a Partnership in Leeds. I then transferred to another Partnership in Leeds still as an SSCo at times taking on the role of Partnership Development Manager (PDM). One of the most memorable parts of this job was being involved in the development of a funding bid for new sports facilities on the John Smeaton School / John Smeaton Leisure Centre site and I am glad to say that the school now has access to some outstanding facilities (although I can't claim all of the credit!).

All of this was a great experience, which stood me in good stead for a move into sports consultancy, and a transfer to Manchester, before I took up my current post in April 2006.

Q: If you could change only one thing to have a positive impact on women and girls' activity levels, what would it be?

A: If we are to change the current culture, where sport is generally not seen as being a 'feminine' thing to do, then we need to see more good quality images and coverage of women in sport and physical activity across the media so that being actively engaged in sport is seen as a worthwhile and very natural thing to do.

I know it says just one but...I would like to see the full implementation of the Long Term Athlete (LTAD) Model with a focus on Multi-skill and Multi-sport delivery for children and young people. I believe that this approach, with less focus on competition, will help develop skilful girls who are comfortable in their own skin and therefore increase the chances of them continuing participation as they get older.

Q: What's your favourite sport?

A: Cricket is my main sport and despite moving across the Pennines I am still heavily involved in running Women's cricket in Yorkshire. I played Hockey for Leeds Schools and had a go at Rugby Union whilst at University and St. John's in York. Generally like watching most sports.

Q: Most memorable sporting event?

A: Claire Taylor's record breaking innings of 156 against India at Lords and the first day of the 2005 Ashes match at Old Trafford where Michael Vaughn scored a brilliant 166 and Shane Warne took his 600th wicket.

Q: Give us a fascinating fact about yourself:

A: I was once a cover girl on the British Nuclear Fuel Educational Catalogue (although apparently I looked like a boy!) -- glamorous or what?!!

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